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The Story of Cole Younger

Cole Younger

Book Overview: 

Autobiography of Cole Younger, American Civil War veteran and member of the Jesse James gang. Cole Younger was a member of Quantrill's Raiders during the Civil War and along with his brother, Jim Younger and the James brothers, robbed banks and trains during the 1870's.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Then Quantrell opened the door and leaped out. Close behind him were Jarrette, Shepherd, Toler, Little, Hoy and myself, and behind us the revolvers.

In less time than it takes to tell it, the rush was over. We had lost five, Hoy being knocked down with a musket and taken prisoner, while they had eighteen killed and twenty-nine wounded. We did not stop till we got to the timber, but there was really no pursuit. The audacity of the thing had given the troops a taste of something new.

They kept Hoy at Leavenworth for several months and then hanged him. This was the inevitable end of a “guerrilla” when taken prisoner.

5. Vengeance Indeed

Among the Jackson county folks who insisted on their right to shelter their friends was an old man named Blythe.

Col. Peabody at Independence had sent out a scouting party to find me or any one else of the. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Younger tries to set the record straight, so the book is mostly a listing of crimes he did not commit. No one sees himself as a bad guy. So it's not very entertaining. The facts are interesting, but I think I'll find me a book of lies now . . .

Absolutely love reading about the ‘outlaws’ and especially the Youngers. Even visited their graves this year. This book was a very different account from what I’ve read previously so I’m inclined to believe that the real truth is a mixture of both. I enjoyed the last chapter the most.

So wait... one of the most notorious bandits in western history only robbed one bank, and it just happened to be the one he was caught for? Amazing he could even find the time to rob it in between being framed for other crimes and carrying out selfless deeds from the mere goodness of his heart.


Good book. I enjoyed reading it a lot.

The Truth is likly somewhere in the middle.

This is filled with facinating details about the times during and after the American Civil War. A must read for those with an open mind and who are also truth seekers.

this is the best (auto) biography I've ever read.


There was a time when I worked in a prison. Cole Younger gives a pretty good description and Metaphysical interpretation of what it is to be an inmate. Also provides some insight into the Kansas vs Missouri contention. As in many auto bios, he does his best to put his best foot foteward.

We happened upon this book at the Stillwater Prison/Warden House historical site, and it was a worthwhile read. I didn't really know anything about the Youngers, or the gang that had committed the infamous Northfield robbery, so I didn't come into the book with the tall tales and exaggerations that

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